Ireland 4 goals

Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:50 AM
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Ireland 4 goals

I'm thinking I'd like to go to Ireland this Spring and have 4 goals: 1 play golf at a links course (not necessarily St Andrews); go to
2. an Irish pub where people drink a bit too much Guinness and sing the great Irish songs;
3. an Irish castle; and
4. some wind swept coastline/bluff, the type of landscape that must contribute to the strain of melancholy in the Irish.
A couple concerns are “the tour” which we’ve always avoided because of the restrictions and lack of independence, but we’ve never driven in Europe and hear that it can be particularly tricky in Ireland. (In our early 60s we may have lost a bit of our sense of adventure.) I’d be interested in people’s thoughts on this, general and specific.
Thanks, jeremy

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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 08:21 AM
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Hi R,

You do realize that St. Andrews is in Scotland not Ireland.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 08:44 AM
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You can get most of what you want in Co. Clare.
1. Great links course at Lahinch
2. Pubs everywhere, and Clare has a particularly strong musica tradition.
3. A few castles. Bunratty is a good visit, but I think the medieval banquet is naff.
4. Lots of coastline, quite varied.

Driving is possible in Ireland; I do it most days. Just don't be in a hurry.

What strain of melancholy?
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 11:31 AM
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For a links course, I recommend Carne Golf links just outside Belmullet in Mayo's 'wild wild west.' It's one of the top rated links courses in Ireland but, because of its remoteness, it costs about one third what you would pay at Ballybunion or Old Head. http://www.carnegolflinks.ie
My second choice in Spanish Point near Miltown Malbay in County Clare (a 9-hole links layout but a lot of fun to play).

In my dozen or so trips to Ireland, I have only once come across a Pub where people sang what you refer to as "great Irish songs." The "people" were an American Student group from UCSB - they were completing an Irish Literature course. It was at the Western Strands in Belmullet, County Mayo; but it's not a regular thing. Maybe you would do better looking for Trad Irish music venues.

The wind swept coastline/Bluff sounds like the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare.

I'm a septuagenarian and don't drive in Ireland, partly because many car rental companies won't rent to people my age. But I get around using Bus Eireann, taxis, and sometimes good-hearted Irish people who volunteer to help me.

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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 11:54 AM
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Go to Murphy's in Dingle for the Irish pub where people sing the great Irish songs. we had the best time there. They had live music and the whole crowd was drinking, singing and clapping. Dingle is also the best place in Ireland!!!
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 01:44 PM
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I recommend County Kerry!
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 05:34 PM
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I'll second the vote for County Clare. I was just there this summer, and it has all your requirements. I believe there is a golf course in the area, definitely has wonderful lonely cliffs (The Burren is a wonderful place to explore). There is Bunratty castles, dozens of old ruined abbeys, and the west is where the trad music is strongest. It is also a great base for exploring places like Dingle, Galway, etc.

Drive, you'll love it.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 03:30 AM
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If your budget can stand it there is a great Golf Course on the Old Head of kinsale, its been called the Pebble Beach of Ireland, right on the water.
Kilkenney has a wonderful Castle. The Castle and the grounds are open to the Public. If you go take the walking tour out of the Tourist Office for a bit of history. There are more Pubs than you can shake a golf club at in Kinsale and kilkenney and many feature music on various nights. All the Penninsulas in the southwest have the coastlines you describe but if I had to choose on it would be Dingle, also a great town with lots of Pubs and music. Driving in Ireland is not as bad as it used to be. If you stay on the N and R roads you should have no trouble, get a good map, don"t drive at night and don't be in a hurry. Have fun
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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 02:42 PM
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Trad music in Doolin & Cliffs of Moher, or go the the Aran Islands. County Clare is wonderful. I did the coach tour from Galway to the Cliffs, & it was great, but next time I want to drive! The tour was great though, because the driver/guide gave so much interesting information which i would not have known! So sometimes, it's great to go on a tour.
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Old Dec 26th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Dingle has already been mentioned for the music. There is a wild, windswept links course there:

http://www.dinglelinks.com/

You can probably find a castle somewhere nearby , or at least on the way to or from the airport.

The driving is not as tricky as in England. Do rent an automatic; most people find shifting with the "wrong" hand the hardest part of driving on the left.
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Old Dec 27th, 2006, 03:28 AM
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enzian, very true! I remember many times hitting the right side window/door with my hand, reaching for that right-hand stick shift...
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Old Dec 27th, 2006, 12:29 PM
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I actually prefer shifting with the left hand. It's a constant reminder that we're not in Kansas (or Colorado) anymore.

Bill
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